Israel’s population rises to 8.9 million

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The official population of Israel on the eve of Rosh Hashanah is 8.9 million.

The population grew 2 percent since the previous year, an increase of 173,811 to 8,904,373 , according to the Population and Immigration Authority, which released the figures on Sunday. About 75 percent of the population is Jewish.

The number of babies born in Israel during the past year was 176,230, including 90,646 boys and 85,584 girls. Some 75,848 people married since Rosh Hashanah and the country registered 32,457 divorces. The number of new immigrants to Israel over the last year is 24,801.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting that the population figures are meaningful to the Jewish community some 70 years after the start of the Holocaust.

“More than six million Jews live here. This number has great significance in light of our people’s history in the previous century as well as in the current one,” he said.